FROM “LETTERS THAT HAVE HELPED ME”
BY WILLIAM Q. JUDGE
“Yes; the gods are asleep for a while. But noble hearts still walk here, fighting over again the ancient fight. They seek each other, so as to be of mutual help. We will not fail them. To fail would be nothing, but to stop working for Humanity and Brotherhood would be awful. We cannot; we will not.” (p. 14)
“We are not the only ones to suffer upon the Path. Like ourselves, Masters have wept, though They do not now weep. One of them wrote some years ago: “Do you suppose we have not passed through many times worse trials than you now think you are in?” The Master often seems to reject and to hide his (spiritual) face, in order that the disciple may try. On the doors and walls of the temple the word “Try” is written. “The Brothers” is a better designation than Mahatmas or Masters.
“Along the path of the true student is sadness, but also there is great joy and hope. Sadness comes from a more just appreciation of the difficulties in one’s way, and of the great wickedness of the individual and collective heart of man. But look at the great fountain of hope and joy in the consideration that the Brothers exist, that They were men too; They had to fight the fight; They triumphed, and They work for those left after Them. Then beyond Them are “the Fathers,” that is, the spirits of “just men made perfect,” those Who lived and worked for humanity ages ago and Who are now out of our sphere, but Who nevertheless still influence us in that Their spiritual forces flow down upon this earth for all pure souls. Their immediate influence is felt by Masters, and by us through the latter.” (p. 8)
“Towards Love of course is the right way – the Love of the Divine and of all beings.” (p. 17)
“Assert to yourself that it is not of the slightest consequence what you were yesterday, but in every moment strive for that moment; the results will follow of themselves. . . . For as each moment is and at once is not, it must follow that if we think of the past we forget the present, and while we forget, the moments fly by us, making more past. Then regret nothing, not even the greatest follies of your life, for they are gone, and you are to work in the present which is both past and future at once. So then, with the absolute knowledge that all your limitations are due to Karma, past or in this life, and with a firm reliance ever upon Karma as the only judge, which will be good or bad as you make it, yourself, you can stand anything that may happen and feel serene, despite the occasional despondencies which all feel, but which the light of Truth always dispels. . . . “Never regret anything.” Regret is a thought, hence an energy.” (p. 18-19)
“No one can really help you. No one can open your doors. You locked them up, and only you can open them. When you open any door, beyond it you find others standing who had passed you long ago, but now, unable to proceed, they are there waiting; others are there waiting for you. Then you come, opening a door, and those waiting disciples perhaps may pass on; thus on and on. What a privilege this, to reflect that we may perhaps be able to help those who seemed greater than ourselves. . . . Place your only faith, reliance, and trust on Karma.” (p. 2)
“Race influences are insidious and powerful. For instance, my race has its peculiarities deeply seated and inherited from an extraordinary past. I must be under their influence in this body as a necessary part of my experience. . . . Those influences are, then, guiding me every moment, and each thought I have adds to them now, for either my own future use or for some other person who will come under the power of part of the force generated now by me.” (p. 5)
“I had to find some means of reaching further, and struck on this, which is as old as old age.
“I am not separate from anything. “I am that which is.” That is, I am Brahma, and Brahma is everything. But being in an illusionary world, I am surrounded by certain appearances that seem to make me separate. So I will proceed to mentally state and accept that I am all these illusions. I am my friends, – and then I went to them in general and in particular. I am my enemies; then I felt them all. I am the poor and the wicked; I am the ignorant. Those moments of intellectual gloom are the moments when I am influenced by those ignorant ones who are myself. All this in my nation. But there are many nations, and to those I go in mind; I feel and I am them all, with what they hold of superstition or of wisdom or evil. All, all is myself. Unwisely, I was then about to stop, but the whole is Brahma, so I went to the Devas and Asuras; the elemental world, that too is myself. After pursuing this course a while, I found it easier to return to a contemplation of all men as myself. It is a good method and ought to be pursued, for it is a step toward getting into contemplation of the All. . . . shall I not take heart, even when a dear friend deserts me and stabs me deep, when I know that he is myself?” (p. 6-7)
NOTE: In this passage, he is not referring to Brahmā, which is written with an accent over the last “a” and pronounced “Brahmaa,” for Brahmā is an aspect of the Logos, and in Theosophy we are never enjoined to view ourselves as Brahmā but rather as Brahman, the supreme Absolute Infinite Impersonal Divine Principle, also termed Parabrahm. In WQJ and HPB’s time, “Brahman” was often just written as “Brahma” (without the “n”) or as “Brahma (neuter).” As this can admittedly be somewhat confusing, this term is almost always written nowadays simply as Brahman. For clarification about the usage of such terms in Theosophical literature, please see the article Parabrahm, Brahman, and Brahma – Why The Confusion?
“Words are things. With me and in fact. Upon the lower plane of social intercourse they are things, but soulless and dead because that convention in which they have their birth has made abortions of them. But when we step away from that conventionality, words become alive in proportion to the reality and purity of the thought that is behind them. So in communication between two students they are things, . . . Let us use with care those living messengers called words.” (p. 11)
“So I pray you to remove from your mind any distaste for present circumstances. If you can succeed in looking at it all as just what you in fact desired, then it will act not only as a strengthener of your good thoughts, but will act reflexly on your body and make it stronger.” (p. 36)
“To “turn away in horror” is not detachment. . . . if we love vice or anything, it seizes on us by attachment; if we hate anything, it seizes on our inner selves by reason of the strong horror we feel for it. In order to prevent a thing we must understand it; we cannot understand while we fear or hate it. . . . So if we turn in horror from the bad (we may feel sad and charitable, though), in a future life we will feel that horror and develop it by reaction into a reincarnation in a body and place where we must in material life go through the very thing we now hate.” (p. 22)
“There is no help like association with those who think as we do, or like the reading of good books. The best advice I ever saw was to read holy books, or whatever books tend to elevate yourself, as you have found by experience. There must be some. Once I found some abstruse theological writings of Plotinus to have that effect on me – very ennobling, and also an explanation of the wanderings of Ulysses. Then there is the Gita. All these are instinct with a life of their own which changes the vibrations. Vibration is the key to it all. The different states are only differences of vibration, and we do not recognize the astral or other planes because we are out of tune with their vibrations.” (p. 38-39)
“Is not the Self pure, bright, bodiless, and free, – and art thou not that?” (p. 37)
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The full version of the book “Letters That Have Helped Me” is published by Theosophy Company and available from the United Lodge of Theosophists. Please click here for more information about recommended Theosophical books and how to order them.
For more about William Judge, including his close connection with H. P. Blavatsky and the Masters, the articles Who Was William Quan Judge?, William Q. Judge and The Masters of Wisdom, and Understanding The Importance of Mr. Judge will be found helpful. He was co-founder of the modern Theosophical Movement with H. P. Blavatsky and was repeatedly called by her “my only friend.” He was her closest and most trusted colleague and after she passed away he did his utmost to keep the focus within the Movement on her teachings, her writings, and her work, even whilst other leading figures were trying their hardest to change the focus and turn away from the legacy and Message of HPB.
For this reason he continues to be held in very high regard by those students of Theosophy who deeply respect HPB and who study what she gave to us, whilst also being held in low esteem by those Theosophists who prefer the later and very different versions of “Theosophy” to the actual Philosophy that the actual Mahatmas gave to the world. For our complete list of over 300 articles on all aspects of Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement, please click here.